After spending a good 7 days in Meghalaya , we were on our way to the second of the three sisters in our itinerary. Tripura is a beautiful state and not explored in terms of tourism much. So undoubtedly we didn’t find much information that was relevant to us in the “Top 10 things to do in Tripura” blogs in the web world. These lists gave us all “touristy” things to do but that’s not what we had our heart set on. Nevertheless we still wanted to cover the state and added two things on our list.
Best time to visit
Given the uneven terrain of the state, the temperature varies in each city, town or village which largely depends on the altitude. The months of winter between October and February are the best to visit this state when the temperatures are cooler making way for a pleasant visit. It is advised to avoid travelling here during the monsoons. Similar to Meghalaya this state also receives very high rainfall. Because of not much development and the hilly terrain there could be road closures.
Here’s a virtual tour of our 2 days at the state of Tripura
Day 1: Meghalaya – Karimganj
After spending a good 7 days at Meghalaya we were now headed towards the capital of Tripura- Agartala! A name we had heard only in our history text books up until then. Our last day in Meghalaya was spent at Mawlynnong. The distance to Agartala from here is about 488KMS and roughly 15 hours on road. So we decided to pitstop in Karimganj for a day and then travel onwards. Karimganj is a small town in Assam, which is on the way and didn’t require any deviations.
This pit-stopping is a wise decision. The terrain of this land makes it very difficult to cover a good distance in a day. The roads are also not as developed as in the state of Meghalaya making the journey a wee bit uncomfortable
What was not a wise decision was staying in Karimganj at Hotel Nakshatra. Although the people here are extremely courteous, the lack of cleanliness, dead bugs on the floor ruins it for you. So if you are traveling by road from Meghalaya to Tripura I’d recommend pit stopping at Silchar instead of Badarpur or Karimganj.
- Give a pitstop before reaching Agartala
- Do not stay at Karimganj. There are no great hotels there
- Stay at Silchar instead. There are some pretty cool hotels
Damage to Pockets
- Karimganj stay and dinner: Rs. 1100
Day 2: Karimganj – Unakoti- Agartala
We just prayed to the almighty to keep us healthy, and safe from a potential attack by zombie bugs at night and scooted from there around 4:00AM. After a dreamy ride through the misty roads in the wee hours of the morning, we reached our first destination of the day – Unakoti Rock Carvings. This site is worth a visit if you wish to be enthralled by some extra ordinary rock carvings.
Unakoti – Agartala
There was a measly stall there with some snacks I suppose. But we had our own snack basket and were more keen on a proper breakfast so we were on our way to Agartala and hoped we’d find some place. Unfortunately we were welcomed with the most horrible roads. A majority of the route was under construction and hence was extremely dusty and gravelly. It was our first most uncomfortable route so far.
We took the Unakoti – Khowai – Agartala route. I’d advice you to check if there are alternatives before heading in this direction. After a good 5 hour drive on some challenging roads, we reached our hotel in Agartala.
After enjoying our first meal of the day we did our own research and had a list of places to visit post lunch. We had just that one day planned in Agartala, and to our luck that day happened to be a Sunday and like most of the north eastern states a lot of places are closed on Sundays. So with a long face we headed out to one of the places on our list, The Ujjayanta Palace. After about 20 minutes of navigating through the main lanes and some narrow ones, we arrived at this beautiful structure with a sprawling garden carefully manicured with the hues of sunset as a background. Covid regulations did play spoilsport one more time and the inside of the palace were not open to tourists at that point. So we had to make do with the outsides and we totally judged this book by its cover and thought it must be beautiful on the inside too!
Agartala shares a friendly border post with Bangladesh. This border is a trading port between India and Bangaldesh. Once can see hordes of trucks loaded with goods going back and forth between the two countries. As luck would have it there was a nice ceremony at the Checkpost similar to the one at Wagah border just at a smaller scale that day. And unfortunately by the time we had arrived it was obviously all over. We had to request the the security personnel there to let us walk till Zero point. And they were kind enough to not only walk with us and click some pictures for us. But they also sat us down and we had a good chat with some of the BSF personnel there for some time before heading back to our hotel for the night. Every time we have encountered a BSF person they are always so warm and welcoming. It is always a very humbling experience!
To mention the hospitality of the BSF here in any words wouldn’t do enough justice. Like the border of Wagah in Punjab, they have a beating retreat parade occasionally (The details are currently unknown with the new Covid regulations). Here is a small glimpse of the same.
There are many hidden gems in the state of Tripura like the Kamalasagar Kali Temple, Neer mahal. If you go in the months of October you might be able to catch a glimpse of the elaborate Durga Puja in this state.
Our Stay: The Ginger, Agartala
We had booked a room for the three of us at Ginger, Agartala. While the food here was tasty and the hotel staff very sweet. They were not very helpful when we wanted to book a room for our driver or help us with details of local places to visit. The place is clean and hygienic and a great upgrade from our stay the previous night. We were famished as we hadn’t had any morsel since the poor excuse for dinner the previous night , we ordered room service and belted to our hearts content. They had CURD! I devoured it to my hearts content.
Damage to Pockets
- Stay at ginger with lunch and breakfast: Rs 2050/-